Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Imminent Water Wars of the World

By 2025, two-thirds of the world will live under conditions of water scarcity.
International Water Management Institute

Global water demands will increase by 40% in the next ten years.

Pacific Institute

Two-thirds of the cities in China suffer from water shortages. Clean water is even more rare.

Asia Water Projects

India WILL run out of water in the near future.

Arlington Institute

The world's highest unclimbed peak - Gungkhar Puensoom - located in North-Central Bhutan, reflected on the lake at its base where the as yet undammed Chamkhar Chhu originates

WATER: it is critical to all life forms on this earth. Without it, nothing will survive. And yet, even while we are being forewarned of the eminent disaster from which there is no escape, we remain blasé about it. The least that we can do is to secure what we have, even if adding to it is beyond us.

We may not be doing anything to safeguard our water resources but it looks like one country is certainly preparing themselves. Take a look at the following:

It is obvious that water is going to be a resource over which wars will be fought. If it is going to be that scarce, we have to stop compromising the value of our rivers, by pledging them as collateral for doomed hydro-power projects. All indications are that our rivers in their natural form would serve us better, instead of shackling them to eternal bondage by building dams over it – to turn hydro-power turbines that churn out debts by the hundreds of billions at 10% interest rate.

Let us be responsible to our future generations and make a pledge today to keep some of our rivers free flowing. In any event, solar power is fast emerging as a serious competition to hydro-power. In 1977 solar cells used to cost US$ 76.67 per watt. By July of 2016, per watt cost of solar cells had dropped to US$ 0.26. It will not be long before hydro-power is nudged out of the competition. Thus even from the point of view of investment, it looks like we are putting our debts behind a loser.

Let us stop further hydro-power projects. It is pretty clear that in the next 5-6 years, energy generated by hydro-power projects will no longer be competitive. Even worse, water may no longer qualify as a renewable resource, caused by global warming.

Fortunately for Bhutan, only two of our rivers originate in Tibet China - Kuri Chhu and Amo Chhu. So any acts of water terrorism by China won’t effects us. But it is a completely different story for some other riparian states downstream of some of the major river systems of the Himalayas, as the following maps demonstrates.

Major river systems of Bhutan

Major river systems that originate in Tibet China

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